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Minister sentenced to 20 years in sex case: Cobb preacher pleads guilty to molesting child

BYLINE: By Mark Curriden Staff writer
DATE: 05-30-1990
PUBLICATION: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
SECTION: Newspapers_&_Newswires
PAGE: C/04

A Cobb County minister pleaded guilty Tuesday to child molestation
and cruelty charges and was sentenced to 20 years in prison for having
sex with a 11-year-old girl who attended his church's vacation Bible
The Rev. James Calvin McCurry, 38, a former pastor at the Greater
Zion Hills Baptist Church in Smyrna, had been charged with forcing the
girl to have sex three times in 1985 and 1986.
"The little girl didn't tell anyone about it for three years, when
she told an elementary school counselor," said Cobb prosecutor Bruce
Hornbuckle. "[McCurry] told her, `God will get you if you tell.' He also
told her God would punish her and her family if she didn't take her
clothes off and do what he said."
According to court documents, McCurry confessed to police that he
had sexual intercourse with the child two times, but said the girl had
"enticed" him.
McCurry said the 11-year-old was at his house visiting his daughter
when he walked into his bedroom to find the child on his bed wearing only
an open robe.
The minister said the girl told him she was 15 and wanted him to
touch her.
"He said he tried to leave the room but he was too weak and touched
the girl between the legs," say court records of police interviews with
The court documents also indicate McCurry confessed to having sex
with the girl in September 1985 on the couch in the pastor's study in the
"The final time was in 1986, when they had all been to a church
skating party," Mr. Hornbuckle said. "He took the girl to his apartment
while his wife wasn't there. He admits to having sex there.
"He said he knew child molestation was a crime but he repented after
the acts," the prosecutor said. "He said he had mentioned the acts to no
one but God."
Mr. Hornbuckle said the 20-year prison sentence means McCurry will
spend between 20 months and six years in prison.
"A preacher is a pretty good risk for the parole board, so he'll
probably be let out as soon as possible," Mr. Hornbuckle said.
McCurry is the second Baptist minister in Cobb convicted of child
molestation in the past year. The Rev. Thomas McGowan, 46, was sentenced
to three years in prison on Nov. 10 for molesting two teenage girls and
sexually assaulting an adult member of his congregation at the Morning
View Baptist Church in Marietta.
photo: mug of James Calvin McCurry

Copyright 2003 The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution